Electoral fraud

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Electoral fraud is an illegal practice that appears when the result of an election is artificially and consciously altered in favor of a candidate or party.

It usually occurs in all types of elections, from the primaries of a party to choose a candidate to a general election, through municipal and regional elections. The consequences of electoral fraud are very different. The very popular case is that of former Bolivian President Evo Morales, who, under pressure from the citizens, ended up calling new elections for 2020. But resignation and the convening of new elections is not the most common in these cases, in fact, it usually happens. otherwise, that the ruler, direct or indirect author of the fraud, remains in power. However, due to the increasing number of international observers and bodies charged with ensuring the integrity of the elections, this is increasingly difficult.

Types of voter fraud

  • Vote buying: the party promises a group of voters direct benefits, such as the allocation of public contracts, jobs or other rewards if it achieves the expected results. It is a consideration.
  • Introduction or subtraction of ballots in the ballot box: At convenience, ballots of a certain party are thrown into the ballot box in order to directly alter the results (pucherazo).
  • Votes of deceased persons: Ballots are cast at the polls assigning them on the list to deceased persons.
  • Coercion: Pressure exerted by a group or person towards a voter to vote in one direction or another.
  • Bribery: The counting of the votes of a certain table is altered through the payment to those in charge of the counting.
  • “Inclined court”: It is about putting difficulties for rival parties so that it is more difficult for them to compete in the elections. The party in power abuses public resources to its advantage. It is typical of competitive authoritarian regimes.

Relevant examples

From the 19th century to the present day we have numerous cases of electoral fraud, especially in the 20th century with the expansion of democracy. Some of these examples are:

  • Spain 1876 - 1923: Period characterized by the Bourbon restoration. This period was characterized by the shift between the liberal and conservative parties. To ensure this turnismo and the stability of the regime, the electoral results were manipulated by means of the famous “pucherazo”, which consisted of removing or adding ballots to the ballot box to modify the results.
  • General elections Bolivia 2019: The OAS (Organization of American States) has confirmed the fraud of these elections in favor of Evo Morales. The OAS report affirms that the electoral records were manipulated, alterations were detected in them and the signatures of the table jurors were forged. It also claims that the data was redirected to hidden servers, making data manipulation possible. Citizen pressure forced the former president to leave the country and call new elections.
  • General Elections Mexico 1988: At this time, in Mexico the electoral data was communicated to the CFE by telephone, during the preliminary count the PRD candidate was ahead in the elections. Given this, the federal government ordered the suspension of the transmission of the information, although it was sold as a "fall of the system." When the count was resumed, the opposing candidate, the PRI candidate, was in the lead, and ended up winning the elections.

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